According to The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, children should visit a dentist by the time they are a year old. Why? Because good oral hygiene begins with your child’s first baby tooth. Although baby teeth fall out in a few years, these teeth serve as space holders for permanent teeth. And without good oral care, baby teeth can decay, easily crack, and cause problems such as:
- Gum and tooth pain
- Difficulty in eating and sleeping
- Gum inflammation and disease
- Self-consciousness when smiling or even talking
Besides, with dental health linked to the health of the entire body, making sure your kids have the best in oral health and care from an early age is extremely important for overall good health and well being.
And, your dentist can also provide restorative services for children, from composite fillings, to crowns, pulp treatments, and tooth extractions.
Cracked Baby Teeth
A cracked baby tooth is one important area that your child’s dentist can help - and fast. If your child's tooth gets chipped or broken, it’s important to schedule an emergency appointment right away.
While broken baby teeth might be less noticeable than a broken adult tooth, it’s still necessary to have the break examined by your dentist as soon as you can.
Help your child to remain calm, and save any fragments of the broken tooth if possible. Your dentist may be able to bond the fragment back on to the remaining portion of the tooth. Then, be sure to have your child rinse the mouth with warm water so the damaged area is kept as clean as possible.
If your child’s face has swollen due to the tooth damage, apply a cold compress for up to 15 minutes at a time to reduce swelling, but don’t place the compress directly on your child’s skin, which could cause nerve damage.
And finally, manage your child’s discomfort with an appropriate analgesic, such as children’s Tylenol, acetaminophen, or other over-the-counter medication for pain.
Reach Out to Your Dentist
Because timing is important with a chipped, broken, or cracked tooth, contact your dentist immediately. Your dentist will:
- Evaluate the injury and damage
- Determine the best treatment, such as:
- Repairing the tooth with fillings and polishing for chips
- Applying a crown or filler if the tooth is cracked but nerves are undamaged
- Performing a root canal before applying a cap or crown if nerve damage occurred
The care plan for a broken tooth depends on the type and extent of tooth injury.
- For a chipped, fractured, or broken tooth that is only damaged on the outer layer of enamel, fillings or bonding is employed.
- If the tooth injury exposes the dentin or tooth pulp, pain management and antibiotics are required to avoid infection.
- For a severely damaged tooth, to complete necessary repair such as a root canal, several visits to your dentist may be necessary for full treatment.
Bring Your Child for a Dental Visit
If you’re ready to bring your child for a dental visit, whether for emergency care due to a cracked baby tooth or for a regular check-up, just reach out to us today! We’ll start your child on the path for good oral and overall health, and help your child keep smiling.